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The Best Time-Saving Strategy for Genie+ at EPCOT

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This is our third post on the Best Time-Saving Strategy for Genie+. Click the hyperlink to read the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom post.  We looked at every way you could’ve obtained Genie+ reservations for each of the last 485+ days at EPCOT –  more than 19 billion possibilities. Here’s a cheat sheet with the best Genie+ strategies we found for every crowd level. 

Meet Beloved Disney Pals at Mickey & Friends, which opened on June 10, 2024. This meet and greet has also been added to the Genie+ service. The analysis and simulations for EPCOT do not include this new attraction. At the end of this post, we will give an educated guess on how the Mickey & Friends meet and greet will affect Genie+ at EPCOT.

One of our 2024 goals is to improve the Genie+ recommendations made by our touring plan software. And the first couple of tasks in that project are to:

  1. Benchmark where we’re at now
  2. Identify the “best” set of Genie+ recommendations so we know when we’re done.

That second task requires a lot of historical data on Genie+ return times and a lot of computer time to crunch the numbers. The result of doing all that ended up being a really simple “Genie+ Cheat Sheet” that showed the best sequence of Genie+ reservations to get at any time of year.

This post describes how we created those cheat sheets for the EPCOT theme park. The cheat sheet is below.

Analyzing Historical Genie+ Return Times for EPCOT

Since Genie+ rolled out, we’ve collected just under 15,000,000 Genie+ return times from My Disney Experience from every attraction, every few minutes, every day of every year. Based on this data, we know how often Genie+ reservations sell out and when they run out. A Genie+ reservation can sell out if all reservations are claimed or an attraction closes before the park closes. EPCOT has eleven attractions that are included in the Geie+ reservation system. Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure sell out early. Except for the lowest crowd level day, it is unlikely that you will be able to get a Genie+ reservation for both attractions. This table shows the percentage of days Genie+ reservations sold out, and if they sell out, the earliest that you can expect them to sell out. 

We can also use the data to create “what if” scenarios. For example, if you booked a Genie+ reservation for Soarin’ Around the World at 10:15 a.m. on March 15, 2024, your return time would have started at 12:05 p.m. You can get your next Genie+ reservation at 12:15 or after the second touch point in the Soarin’ queue. The table below shows what Genie+ reservations were available for at 12:15.

With the Genie+ data, we can see what would’ve happened for any sequence of Genie+ reservations for any day since Genie+ started. So that’s what we did.

Simulation Design

EPCOT typically has eleven Genie+ attractions. When 11 attractions are operating, there are  39,916,800 different ways to obtain Genie+ reservations. Each of those different ways is called a permutation. Not all of the permutations are possible due to attractions that sell out.

Our design helped us answer two questions:

  1. What are the best attractions for using Genie+ at EPCOT?
  2. In what order should I get those Genie+ reservations to save the most time in line?

Simulation and Analysis

Our analysis considered all Genie+ attractions for every day since January 1, 2023. We adhered to Disney’s rules for obtaining the next Genie+ reservation for each permutation, and we simulated what would’ve happened for every permutation for each of the last 485+ days.

The simulation starts at 7:00 a.m. with the first attraction. We then select the next attraction two hours after the park opens or 15 minutes after the return time, whichever is sooner. This process is repeated for each step, waiting two hours or 15 minutes after the return time.

To calculate how much time we saved using Genie+, we added up the posted wait time at the attractions at the Genie+ return time we got.  That gives us a “time saved” score.

That “time saved” score is an estimate. We know you’ll still have to spend a few minutes in Lightning Lane before experiencing the attraction, and we know Disney’s posted wait times are often wrong. Our approach allows us to compare the relative “time saved” scores for every Genie+ permutation for every day.

A higher “time saved” score indicates a better sequence of attractions. To compare multiple days, we normalize the “time saved” score by dividing all scores by the maximum value for all permutations on that day.

Results: The Best Genie+ Picks at EPCOT for Any Crowd Level

After simulating all possible Genie+ permutations for EPCOT, here is how many minutes in line a Genie+ reservation would be saved at various crowd levels:

Unsurprisingly, the three attractions that sell out the earliest are the attractions that will save you the most time if you use Genie+.

The next question we had to answer was, “If these are the most useful Genie+ attractions, which order should we select them?” To answer this question, we looked at all the permutations and computed the average normalized “time saved” score to rank the best first and second attractions.

Pick Your EPCOT Genie+  Attractions in This Order

Below are the best first steps when selecting Gene+ attractions. The list includes the top three attractions. A higher-ranked attraction will save more time overall. Skip any attraction that:

  • Isn’t available
  • Has a return time that doesn’t fit into your day
  • Or that you’re not interested in experiencing

The Best First Genie+ Selection at EPCOT

The best first Genie+ Attractions tracks with the availability. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure sells out the fastest, and if you want a Remy Genie+ reservation, it should be your first choice. With Remy, Frozen, and Test Track all likely to sell out, it is not surprising that they are good choices for the first Genie+attractions.

The Best Second Genie+ Selection at EPCOT

Unsurprisingly, the highest rank second attractions are the same attractions from the best first attraction list.

The Best Remaining Genie+ Selection at EPCOT

Once you’ve picked your first two attractions, use the EPCOT Genie+ cheat sheet to select your remaining attractions for the rest of the day. This Cheat Sheet ranks the Genie+ choices that consistently lead to the least time waiting in line on a typical day at the crowd levels shown.

Meet Beloved Disney Pals at Mickey & Friends

The most similar attraction to the new meet-and-greet at EPCOT is the meet-and-greet and Disney’s Animal Kindom, Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost. Adventures Outpost Genie+ reservations sell out about four hours after the park opens and save 30 minutes of wait time. The new meet-and-greet should be ranked between Test Track and Soarin in the priority list. Meet Beloved Disney Pals at Mickey & Friends Genie+ reservations will sell out before Soarin’ Genie+ reservations.

Next Up: Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The next park we looked at was Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are only 10 Genie+ attractions at Hollywood Studios, but only Slinky Dog Dash sells out early, making it the obvious first attraction to select. The data will help prioritize the rest of the day.

In the meantime, let us know if you use the EPCOT Genie+ cheat sheet!

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Steve Bloom

By helping continue to reach the most accurate crowd level predictions, Steve finally found a way to meld his training in statistical analysis with a lifelong passion for Disney. He first visited the Magic Kingdom in 1972, just a few months after it opened. Now he enjoys frequent trips with his two kids. At age four his son insisted on wearing cowboy boots to reach the height requirement for Test Track, and his daughter believes that a smoked turkey leg and Dole Whip make a perfectly balanced meal. Even though she doesn't quite get it, Steve's wife is supportive of his Disney activities.

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